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it starts with a big idea

27 July 2007

Friday July 27 9:08-9:28 a.m. walk/jog
Today’s iPod shuffle:
Such Great Heights–Postal Service
In a Sentimental Mood–John Coltrane
Rebellion (Lies)–Arcade Fire (Good work-it-out tunes)
Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland Illinois-–Sufjan (Good cool-it-off tunes)
Chicago-–Tony Bennett (Good walk-back-triumphantly-to-my-apartment-backdoor tunes)

Pretty sweet running epiphany.

Imagining running a ½ marathon in December, and how far that means I have to go, and how I might start reading Runner’s World to get really good at it, since right now I have about 2% athlete in me, and I realized THIS COULD BE A WRITING PROJECT! Since I have never been known for my physical prowess or athleticism…I’m going to need some help from experts. And why not make this an academic pursuit as well as a physical one? I think that is the secret to my success. Research lactic acid fermentation and put it into laygirls’ terms (what better practice for my hypothetical future career in science journalism?!), read running articles and learn about carb loading and the like, interview my athletic friends to get inside their heads and find out what makes them tick. Candice, Jennie, and Kzim come to mind: tell me, how are you not a fat ass? Seriously, your secrets elude me…

I mean, it’s going to have to take more motivation than how my thighs look to whip me into shape. My thighs have looked basically the same my whole life. I earned the nickname “Chicken Legs” during the shuttle run in 6th grade P.E., and I have never quite moved beyond skinny, pale, moderately-attractive-thanks-to-good-metabolism my whole life. There were a few short months when I had prom or a cruise to hope for, in which I was quite tan and quite lean, but those days are gone gone gone. Today I wore shorts, mainly because all my usual exercise capris were dirty, and I said “I will EMBRACE my thighs!” although these days they are more flabby than they were in 6th grade. I won’t hide them under Capri pants, NO! I am moderately attractive enough that creepy old men in trucks still ogle me as I jog. All hope is not lost! I am NOT androgynous, dowdy, or middle-aged (I passed one on my run outside Cox North: oversized man shirt, mullet, stretch pants and all) yet! There’s still blood in my veins and muscle under my skin…somewhere!

When I had this idea, long about the corner of Benton and Division, I swear it was like someone had spilled glitter on the sidewalk! (No, seriously, there was gold glitter everywhere. I don’t know how to explain it. Was there a Pride Parade in Springfield when I wasn’t looking??) No matter, inspiration sparkles brightly in the sunlight as well, and I think I can run this ½ marathon on December 1 (…4 months from next Wednesday) and I can write some kickass essays or blogs or the next big nonfiction work while I do it.

No small task. Today, I walk/jogged for 20 minutes. I did a mile in 13 minutes…mostly walking. It’s going to take some discipline to turn that into 13 miles of nonstop fierceness. You do have to start somewhere, and today I started with a great idea. Hope that exercise will continue to fuel my creativity, and hope for the thrill of head-throbbing, lung-expanding, good old-fashioned American sweat. It is good to be alive.

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